DAMPF _lab


DAMPF_lab is an interdisciplinary collaborative project fostering new and distinctive art works of high quality that integrate interactive media technologies with the performing arts while seeking insight into questions such as: how do emerging software practices impact performance; what is the experience of the performer on an interactive stage; how are the relations between maker, performer and audience still shifting; and what are the aesthetic/ social consequences?

DAMPF_lab has been made possible by a grant from the European Union's Culture 2000 programme for annual projects in support of a partnership involving tanz performance köln, the Ars Electronica Center/Futurelab (Linz), V2_Lab (Rotterdam) and the Animax Multimedia Theater (Bonn). This partnership will work together on the following complementary strands:

research labs aiming to generate shareable outcomes by drawing questions from and in turn supporting the creative work of the co-productions; stimulating other new artistic work; innovating technology solutions together; and devising unique dramaturgical and user testing approaches to the artistic process. In addition, the labs will gather documentation to contribute to theoretical and educational approaches to this area of work.

co-productions aiming to nurture and help realise two specific art works: composer/director Klaus Obermaier working with the Ars Electronica Futurelab to develop interactive media technologies for use in a new performance for the stage; and choreographer Angelika Oei working with the V2_Lab on the creation of a large scale performance/ interactive media installation work.

Research coordinator: Scott deLahunta / Writing Research Associates, NL


Animax Multimedia Theater (est. 1999) of the Bonn Development Workshop for Computer Media (est. 1985) focuses on the roduction/presentation of media arts and provides an outstanding operational basis for the exploration of new interactive technologies in the area of performance arts and immersive arts.

Ars Electronica Center/Futurelab offers one of the best-equipped and most efficient research and development workshops for Interactive Spaces, Virtual Environment and Digital Surfaces in the context of Ars Electronica which has been an internationally unique showcase for digital art and media culture and encounters between the arts and sciences since 1979.

tanz performance köln (project coordinator) founded in 1989, develops concepts and realizes dance-related series, festivals and dance film programs, that are representative of new developments in contemporary dance both nationally and internationally including projects with a strong focus on new media technologies.

V2_Lab is the aRt&D department of V2_, Institute for the Unstable media (est. 1987) that concerns itself with research and development in the field of art and media technology and brings to the project a variety of knowledge/ expertise derived from an interdisciplinary approach to the field of unstable media including specific critical perspectives.

research labs

research lab #1 took place 7-11 September 2003 in the context of the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz and in collaboration with the Futurelab's Pixelspaces Conference focusing on the relation between the programmable interface and an interactive physical environment. A number of DAMPF_lab research lines were pursued within this theme; e.g. bodies normal, trained and virtuosic; hacking social behaviour; dramaturgy for the interactive stage. The research lab at Ars Electronica organised a series of breakfast meetings to further develop and fine tune research questions with the following artists selected from the larger Festival programme: Casey Reas, Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Marie Sester, Scott Snibbe, Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman.

research lab #2 takes place from 25 November to 5 December 2003 at the Animax Multimedia Theater in Bonn. Under the heading of the REBOUNDS LAB an integrated artistic/ technical research process will be conducted based on questions derived from the concept for a live performance work by choreographer François Raffinot and percussionist Roland Auzet; based on REBONDS by Iannis Xenakis. This research will include a focus on integrating real time tracking and video processing using a variety of software (e.g. Eyesweb, Isadora and Veejay), sonic spatialization by means of the unique capabilities of the Animax Theater and the development of special staging for the performance:"Our aim is to work towards a piece of 20' long, based on the trails of Xenakis's work, a transformation of the gestures of Roland into a choreographic palimpsest of REBONDS; a virtual execution of the piece that will manifest in visual and sonic architectures for the space." François Raffinot

research lab #3 takes place in the period 12-20 January 2004 at V2_Lab in Rotterdam. The aim of this research lab is to build the next prototype for the DAMPF co-production KURORT aiming specifically to develop the tracking and system memory across more than one space and to work on the flow of participants/ audience from one room to another. Primary questions for this lab will be derived from and reflected upon in the context of a series of user testing scenarios; to take place amongst a diverse base of participants from media art and performance students to individuals from the fields of psychology, cognitive science and sociology who are interested in studying new forms of social behavior in interactive environments.

associate researchers:
Matt Adams (Brighton/ London)
Daniel Aschwanden (Vienna)
Johannes Birringer (Nottingham)
Carol Brown (London), Nuria Font (Barcelona)
Nik Haffner (Frankfurt/ Barcelona)
Prue Lang (Frankfurt), Cindy Lee (London)
Martin Kusch (Vienna/ Montreal)
Christopher Salter (Berlin)
Stephanie Thiersch (Cologne)
Ariella Vidach (Milan)


In the co-production APPARITION, Klaus Obermaier will collaborate with the Ars Electronica Futurelab to create the third in a series of pieces for the stage integrating media and live dance performance. The first two in this series, D.A.V.E. (2000) and VIVISECTOR (2001) made use of illusory moving body projections to challenge the audiences' notions of corporeality in both literal and abstract ways. APPARITION will introduce the first fully interactive system using sophisticated software and camera based tracking to perceive, analyze and respond dynamically to the quality of the dancer's movement in real time. The aim is to enable the performer and system to blend into a unique media performance signature. This co-production raises specific questions such as: what changes occur in the performer's awareness of movement sensations and choices when the space of the dance takes on virtual dimensions? Is a mutual penetration of body and digital media (dancer and system) possible, and, if yes, what conditions are necessary in the theater to enable the audience to perceive this?

In the co-production KURORT, choreographer Angelika Oei and interactive media artist R.A. Verouden will collaborate with V2_Lab in Rotterdam on a new performance/ interactive media/ installation work based on the theme of the traditional kurort (health spa). KURORT is conceived of as a collection of interconnected spaces, each designed for a unique interactive experience by generating a different response to the presence of each visitor. Drawing on theatrical and choreographic methods for energizing space and shaping time, KURORT will be developed in a series of modular prototypes that will test various aspects of the system, two of which have already been produced in residencies at the Glasgow New Territories Festival and the Banff Center for the Arts. This co-production raises specific questions such as: what innovative combination of approaches can best generate and sustain the interactive experience; how can subjective thinking, feeling and mood be treated systematically; what are the conditions for an effective collaboration between arts practitioners, interaction designers, engineers and scientific researchers?